a young man committed suicide last week. his mother goes to our church. as a result, i spoke to a lot of people concerning this matter of suicide. as a father, i would think it is probably by far, one of the toughest things to deal with in life. watching the older generation passing is heart wrenching, but seeing your own child? i don't understand the pain, nor do i dare to take a sip of that cup. but after speak with so many, the lingering thought is "why can't we do something about this?" i know it is too late for this young man, but the prevailing sentiment i get from most people is that it is hopeless and helpless. most people don't believe we can do anything about it. it just happens! even as a church. in their prayers, they ask for mercy, but they don't believe they can intervene. why not? aren't you the church, ones given the authority of heaven and earth? our insular culture, respecting the privacy and freedom of individuals has calloused our sense of community, humanity, even human worth. why don't we risk the facade of peace and breakdown walls so that they'll hate us in the name of love? why don't we trust in the goodness of God and risk our pride, shame, so that truth in its naked-gory form can be exposed? instead of saving-face, we can be saving-lives. Jesus risked the facade of peace when he tore down the religiosity of the pharisees and sadducees, while he tore the temple veil in two. the Father also risked pride and shame, when he hung his son on the cross so bare and brutal, so that the world may see. sometimes, i am angry with God for not withholding the cup from Jesus as a Father. but without it, our human existence is fatal, so i'm grateful.
The following measurable inconveniences took place in the last four weeks. Praise the LORD!
Car Accident: Helen, helping a stranger to a bus stop, replaced four tires; 3 days later, helping a friend in Irvine, 1 flat tire, replaced another new tire on the same day; it turned out, the tire was the wrong size, got it replaced the next day
Car Accident: Tiffany, helping a pastor family house siting
Car Accident: James, on the way to Lunch meeting with a brother, both Helen and James felt stiffness in neck and upper back.
Near Accident: On the way home, the whole family in the car from Friday night bible study, the opposing car ran into a huge metal traffic construction sign that flew up and landed only a couple car lengths in front of our car
Car stopped: the wife of the pastor who initiated this fast at CCCLA, had a scare on the first day of the fast, her car all of a sudden died on the freeway
Home & Appliance: Microwave died and the repair shop reassembled it twice, it took over a month for the repair; Dishwasher died and it took 3 weeks to get it fixed; Electric Stove died twice; Water Pipe leak, under the slab (went away after prayer)
Retreat location: Lost, but God provided a much better location in 4 days
this is a post long over due. well, i had an opportunity to visit indonesia in September this year. this trip brought me so much encouragement i wanted to share it with everyone. my journey started over 10 years ago. i was a pastor in an indonesian chinese church for around two years and I fell in love with the people and their food. God put in me a desire to reach southeast asia. but then nothing happened, for a long time. but in 2008, i had a divine appoint to lead a retreat in the Philippines. it was pretty amazing. since then, i've been going every year to the Philippines. anyways, last year i was so surprised to be invited to officiate a wedding in Bali, Indonesia, a beautiful island resort. at the same time, i found out about this huge conference also taking place in Bali. i thought this must be divine appointment. so i set my heart on going to this conference. anyways, to make a long story short, my seminary president decided to let me go to this conference in september. i was so thrilled. however, i needed to setup some speaking engagements so i could fundraise for a portion of my trip. well, because we made the decision kind of late, i ran out of personal resources. but God let me to pastor wayland wong, a retired pastor. he introduced me to ada lum, a retired missionary at 85. and she introduced me to mama hanna. i didn't know mama hanna, so i had no idea what I was getting myself into but i planned my trip to visit mama hanna, in surabaya, indonesia. when I arrived… Please read PART II
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